Lisa Solis, who is set to perform at Emerald C Gallery on Valentine’s Day, is no stranger to the stage. Lisa started singing from a young age, when she and her sisters played “Sonny and Cher.” She started performing for good in high school in a variety group called Bandstand USA.
“We traveled all around the East Coast and performed in outdoor concerts, county fairs, amusement parks and even the White House on the Fourth of July,” says Lisa. “It was so fun and I loved working with the musicians. Since that time, in one way or another, music has always remained a consistent part of my life.”
Lisa continued her musical journey into adulthood, receiving some formal music training and learning to expand her range. She also learned to master different genres.
“I was fortunate enough to travel through the U.S. and abroad performing as a vocalist in English, French, Spanish, Flemish, and Italian,” says Lisa. “I even had the pleasure of performing with the National Orchestra in Washington, D.C.”
From the late ’80s through the early 2000s, Lisa performed all over San Diego, from downtown to North County.
“I performed an average of 20 nights a month, so I sang at many clubs and events,” says Lisa. “I performed pop, jazz, big band and Latin hits.”
In Coronado, Lisa performed at Concerts in the Park and even the Hotel Del Coronado, singing at the Sheerwater back when it was a rock dance club.
Then having a baby changed everything, in the best possible way. Lisa wanted to be home with her husband and her little daughter instead of out singing, late at night.
Meanwhile, Lisa began driving her daughter Gabi to music classes in La Jolla.
“I kept thinking of how I would love for my friends in Coronado to experience a music and movement class for babies, tots and preschoolers,” says Lisa, who holds a music credential to teach elementary music, in addition to her graduate degree. “So when Gabi was 18 months old, I learned to play the guitar while she napped. I also started writing songs and making up educational games.”
Lisa then “hit the jackpot” and began studying in Los Angeles with Lynn Kleiner, a respected expert in Early Childhood Music and Movement. It wasn’t long before Lisa launched her first music class for babies and tots in Coronado in 2010. Ten years later, her classes fill up each session at the Coronado Community Center.
“I love helping children discover music and their own natural talents,” says Lisa, who will also offer two summer camps in addition to babies and tots music classes. (The summer camps are called, Summer of Love Music Camp, and Music Melodies and Summer Memories Camp.) “I’ve had hundreds of Coronado families participate in my classes, and feel very fortunate to facilitate and share musical experiences with children and their parents.”
In addition to her local classes, Lisa teaches music enrichment at Kumeyaay Elementary School in Tierrasanta. She describes her students as “dedicated emerging musicians” who are not only making great music, but learning how to use music as a vehicle of connection to reduce anxiety.
As Lisa’s daughter matured and grew more independent, the stage began calling Lisa once again. Then, she was invited to sing with the Coronado Ukulele Club at a benefit.
“After 19 years, it still felt wonderful and natural,” says Lisa. “I love working with great musicians to share the story of a song with people in the audience. Just as people who enjoy cooking love to share food with friends and family, singers love to share songs.”
Although Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, she’s happy to bring her voice to the stage again.
“I feel so blessed to have a family and enjoy making a loving home, but now there is a little space for new opportunities to grow and thrive,” says Lisa.
Lisa is excited to sing at an event on Valentine’s Day at Emerald C Gallery. “Champagne a’Chantuse, an Evening of Love Songs” will take place on Friday, February 14th from 6-8pm.
“The event is free to the public, and will feature music by Marilyn Rees,” says Lisa. “There will be wine, chocolate and light fare. Easy, breezy…come and go as you please!”
For more info, visit EmeraldC.com.
Lisa will also perform in Coronado’s Talent with Sugar Baby and the Honey Blues Band on Saturday, February 22.
Now that she’s back in the saddle, what advice does Lisa have for someone who has taken a break from their passion, and is ready to make a comeback?
“Don’t wait for the perfect situation,” says Lisa. “Just find a window and jump in, and other things will follow. Do as much as you are able, even if it’s just a little bit. Just start somewhere.”